10 thoughts after getting back to socializing
Some public journaling.
In September, I moved to Italy with my girlfriend for a temporary period. It's been nice, but I barely made any efforts to socialize until recently. I'm not sure exactly why, although part of it is certainly due to growing increasingly selective about people and preferring quality time with my partner rather than low-quality time with new people. Of course, I know it's important to socialize and have your own life when you're in a relationship, but I somehow found it hard to put myself out there (partly because it's a smaller city, so it's harder to find the sort of events I would normally go to). Normally, I'm very extroverted and outgoing.
1. It's not that hard to find "my kind of people"
I was worried about the difficulties of meeting the sort of people I would like to befriend, but this past Tuesday, I met quite a few people who were really fun and interesting.
2. I notice how much I needed it
I knew it was important, and yet I was still postponing my efforts to socialize. I now see how much I really needed it.
3. I enjoy socializing along with my girlfriend
While I think we should also both socialize separately, it's nice to do it together. This is something that was lacking in my previous relationships. And she enjoys it too.
4. I love to think back on somebody's joke
While I love making jokes, I also love to enjoy other people's jokes. There's this dude I find really funny, and when I left the event the other day, I thought back on one of his jokes and laughed out loud. What a joy.
5. It feels great
6. I've just experienced instant friendship
I can't remember the last time I got along so well with someone new! Here I thought it was gonna be harder than usual to make friends, and I meet this dude with whom I clicked at a surprising level with an impressive amount of things in common. And that was on the same day I had coffee with a friend-to-be who I also had a great time with.
7. I sometimes feel awkward asking for people's numbers
This is weird. I think I didn't have that before. Did decreasing my social interactions over time make me less comfortable at this one specific thing?
8. The joys of socializing without drinking
I'm grateful to have met someone a year and a half ago who didn't drink. She reminded me that I've never needed booze to have a good time, but I got into the habit of drinking alcohol most of the time when socializing. Thanks to her, I experimented with socializing without booze and I was thrilled: I felt even more connected with people. I didn't stick to it, but I did have a few boozeless social events since. Now, I'm trying to drastically reduce my alcohol consumption, and the few times I've socialized here in Italy were often without alcohol.
While my recent instant friendship did form over a beer, I didn't drink at the previous social event and had a lovely time.
@roccodesta has a great list about not drinking alcohol.
9. There is a benefit to socializing when you're in a relationship
When I was single, I couldn't help but think of women. At the very least, I would think "maybe I'll click with a woman tonight", but it was more often along the lines of "I wanna hit on someone and succeed". While I'm grateful that I got into that mindset because it made me comfortable around women, I recognize that it sometimes prevented me to form friendships. Now, I can fully focus on making friends (and maybe networking, I guess). I also recognize that, if I were to become single again, I would like to keep socializing this way. It's more pure.
10. I am developing my curiosity towards other people
I've always been curious, but I've lately been training my social curiosity as a skill, and I'm really enjoying it. And the receivers of my curiosity probably enjoy it too, although some people might get slightly uncomfortable if it becomes a bit too personal (or if they simply don't like talking about themselves).